The following are Ray Kimber's UNEDITED comments regarding Monster Cable:
Dear All, (Permission to copy and/or cross post this, without editing, is granted)
There have been some murmurs that my opposition and criticism of Monster Cable is self serving. I would like to respond and give a more complete reason and response for my opposition to Monster Cable
I didn't jump to any conclusions about Monster Cable's behavior toward Snow Monsters until after I had called and talked to both parties, and challenged them both. The result was that I looked at postings of "real" documents on the web that, in my opinion, leave Monster Cable trying to now float a public relations â€œcover storyâ€ that is increasingly difficult for anyone to swallow.
I wonder how many who are reading this will have seen the 1999 article from Forbes Magazine? (If not, send me your mailing address by private email and I will send you one, it is copyrighted, so it shouldnâ€™t be PDFâ€™d but I have some authorized reprints from Forbes) In it, Kimber Kable and Straight Wire were both splattered by the same paint as Monster Cable. While the article was from a few years ago, it is STILL being referenced by current postings and I recently had a reporter call me, out of the blue, regarding the re-naming of Candlestick Park, due to the linking of Kimber Kable and Monster Cable in the Forbes article.
Since my name and company and industry continue to be linked to Monster Cable I have an interest in what is being said, along with worry of how all AV cable companies might be tarnished by industry association with Monster Cable. The Snow Monsters issue came to my attention via someone who thought we and Monster Cable were the same thing! Until a few days ago I didnâ€™t have ANY knowledge of the very existence of Monster Vintage, The Sesame Street Monster Workshop or Monster Away. Nor did it EVER cross my mind that Monster Garage, Monsters Inc, Monster.com or Monster Trucks had anything to do with each other OR with Monster Cable. Certainly I didnâ€™t form negative opinions about any of the above entities by name association with each other, or mistake one for the other
There are many, no, make that VERY many things that Noel as a person and Monster Cable as a company have accomplished in a very positive way, but..., now I have both heartbreak and heartburn over what is happening, I don't understand, Noel's/Monster Cableâ€™s tactics, it "looks" bad and I worry that folks will decide that the whole darn specialty cable business is the same. Monster Cable is, by my reckoning, larger than ALL of us competitors COMBINED! That gives Noel a "bully pulpit", but his apparent behavior as a bully is doing terrible harm to him, his company and my/our industry.
Monster Cable makes some great products, no question and no argument from me. But HOW they are selling them pisses me off, not because it cuts into Kimber Kable sales, it doesn't (explained below). It pisses me off because I think it is just flat wrong. One example: Using the driving of Noel's sports cars as an incentive to sell more Monster Cable. The result has been two-fold. More cable was sold. And! There were folks who likely had NEVER driven a high performance car that were turned loose in an unfamiliar car, on unfamiliar PUBLIC roads with a "just met" MC employee as co-pilot/chaperone. I hope/suppose that there were â€œground rulesâ€, but sheesh! what could anyone expect?, that these sales folks were motivated to sell more Monster Cable with the goal of driving a dream performance car like Aunt Mable drives her Buick? Uh huh?!? Well, the Forbes article talks about an incident that went wrong, very wrong. When does a sales incentive, by amount and extent, go from "compensating" to "corrupting"?
The reason that Monster Cable doesn't much compete with Kimber Kable is that we don't sell in the same stores, and wouldn't even try. The folks that go to Radio Shack (now selling Monster Cable, BTW) to buy a VCR don't need, and don't deserve to be pitched on, special wire of any kind. That customerâ€™s needs and expectations are COMPLETELY met with ordinary products. If the compensation and pressure to sell that customer "special wires" is high enough then sales WILL certainly be made. But I won't pay that extent of incentive AND won't apply that kind of pressure to Kimber Kable dealers to make THAT kind of sale. I wouldn't be able to explain such sales to my mom and I wouldn't want such sales methods directed at my mom. Sometimes it is good to apply the â€œmommy testâ€ to situations to see if it is OK.
My anger and opposition to Monster Cable has nuthin' to do with Monster Cable products and everything to do with how pissed I am at overselling and the corrupting influence of incentives and pressure that are WAY WAY WAY out of proportion. Not to mention the ridiculous trademark actions. You donâ€™t see Motherâ€™s Car Wax going after Mother Teresa, now do ya?
Most electronics consumers don't need fancy cables, mine or anyone elseâ€™s!!! It is only when the natural interest and knowledge of the consumer correlates with equipment that will compliment the fancy cable that such a sale should be considered. The rewards and pressure to sell Monster Cable are evidently so high as to override the good sense of the seller as to which customer REALLY should be EVER be pitched.
I have NEVER!!! bought a power protection bar, Monster Cableâ€™s or otherwise to go with my consumer electronics hardware purchases. My knowledge of the usual good power line quality and that hardware (even the cheap stuff) is pretty resilient to a little power junk AND!
my knowledge that if I REALLY TRULY did need some protection that I couldn't buy it for $100.00
makes me NOT a target for such sales. I have the knowledge that if I'm buying a $199.00 VCR I won't gain (and shouldn't expect) any useful increase in performance from any power bar or fancy cables. Without that knowledge I donâ€™t want to be a target, like an unaware fish, to be hooked with some bait.
I don't like the idea of having my family and friends sold something/anything because they didn't know enough to form a sensible purchase decision. I don't want any Kimber Kable dealer to make such a sale of my product. I would be kidding myself if I laid out huge incentives to sell Kimber Kable and then imagined that ONLY folks who understood and appreciated fancy cables would be sold Uh Huh ?!? Well, EVERY customer is someoneâ€™s friend or family, they deserve to be treated as such.
So, will a boycott of Monster Cable shift all those sales to Kimber Kable, nope, cuz, my mom wouldn't "get it" if I tried to explain why it should. What would/should happen is that just-as-good-for-the-application less expensive product, like Belkin, Panamax, WestPenn or Carol, will be sold instead, at a much lower price. AND by eliminating the high pressure and high rewards the sales will drop to levels that more closely match the needs and expectations of the customer. So a boycott of Monster Cable, in my opinion, won't and shouldn't shift â€œrealâ€ sales to me or any other fancy cable company. What it will do is STOP the over-selling of, albeit fine, products. Remove the artificial props of, what looks to me like, PAYOLA!, and the over-reaching sales will evaporate and not be â€œshiftedâ€ to me or anyone else.
If Monster Cable's tactics are as bad as they appear regarding Snow Monsters, Monster Vintage and Monster Away, then I think they should stop it now AND go back and un-do some stuff, give back previous arm-twisted trademarks and agreements, and make amends to all others that were beat up. (BTW, Monster Away was a water pistol to be sold to children so they could give a little Monster Away squirt under the bed before they went to sleep. Monster Cable opposed the trademark application?!? I looked at the list of actions in the Trademark office, seems to me like Monster Cable just flat wore them out of money and/or will and/or spirit)
Noel/Monster Cable seems not to have learned much from the damning 1998 Forbes article. It won't be enough for me to just have Monster Cable just say "sorry" to Snow Monsters, because I truly believe that they will just continue on their merry way and view an occasional "sorry" as a cost of business. I want to see a "righting" of past "wrongs" and a removal of either Monster Cable's will or means to mount future over-reaching sales tactics and over-reaching trademark tactics.
So, I am going to ask Monster Cable folks some questions. I have already sent Dave Tognotti (Monster Cableâ€™s Attorney) an email on 12/28/2004, no answer yet. I have been, and am going to be further, alerting friends and family to the www.stopthemonster.com
site. I will say something, and why, to folks in the stores that are selling Monster Cable.
I am super uncomfortable with taking a stand against Monster Cable, not my style, and it would be perfectly logical for someone to view my opposition as self serving. But I canâ€™t stand by quietly any longer and still be able to explain to my mom why I didnâ€™t speak up.
It sucks that good products need to boycotted in order to stop the overselling and to choke off the profits that finance attacks on Snow Monsters and such.
My bottom line and sincere opinion is; I want to see Monster Cable stop the hurtful damage they are doing, apologize and make amends, correct past similar situations and further; to pay some significant Penitence.
Ray Kimber (Permission to copy and/or cross post this, without editing, is granted)